Plane bound for Melbourne lands safely after engine fire

plane bound for melbourne lands safely after engine fire

There's been an emergency onboard a Melbourne-bound Virgin Australia flight from Queenstown, with flames seen coming from one of its engines just after take off.

A Boeing 737 plane has landed safely in Invercargill after being diverted from Queenstown in New Zealand when flames were seen coming from the engine.

Queenstown Airport said the Virgin Australia flight VA148 departed Queenstown at 5.50pm, bound for Melbourne when it experienced an issue just after take-off.

It was then diverted to Invercargill Airport.

The entry to Invercargill Airport has been blocked off to traffic.

The road leading to the airport was lined with cars as people watched the plane land.

Virgin Australia Chief Operations Officer Stuart Aggs said in a statement that the plane ran into problems following a possible bird strike on take off.

"The aircraft has been met by emergency services at Invercargill Airport.

The safety of our guests and crew is our highest priority," Aggs said.

Witnesses saw flames coming from one of the engines and heard loud bangs.

Darren Robinson filmed the plane going over his house and told Stuff the flames were noticeable. He said he heard a "loud bang" and went outside and saw fire coming from the plane.

"I was inside with the kids and heard something that sounded like someone was doing donuts or something. I went outside and saw flames coming out of this plane's engine."

"They were not constant flames, more like boom, boom, boom. It was almost like it was backfiring," he said.

Robinson added the flames were decent and were spinning out the back of the plane's engine.

A passenger said to be on the flight said on X (formerly Twitter) that they could feel the flames as the plane took off.

"I could feel the flames as we took off. I'm sitting just behind the wing on the right-hand side. Full view of the light show!"

Firefighters were alerted to the blaze soon after 6pm when the plane took off from Queenstown Airport, Fire and Emergency southern shift manager Lyn Crosson said.

"It looked like fire showing from one engine," she said.

"The engine has been shut down so it's not an issue, and we have got crews on the ground at Invercargill Airport as a precaution only."

She had received reports that the fire may have been caused by a bird strike, but had not received confirmation.

The flight was originally bound for Melbourne.

This article has been reproduced with permission from Stuff.co.nz.

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